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Petersfield High School receives Solar PV System and Training as part of USAID’s clean energy development support

0 | 2018-06-06 13:15:00

Petersfield High School in Westmoreland, Jamaica celebrates donation of a 2.34 kW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System awarded by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Caribbean Clean Energy Program (CARCEP). The standalone system, which has the capability to produce 300kWh of electricity monthly, was officially handed over during a ceremony held on May 28. The system contains solar modules, a mounting system, disconnect switches, charge controller, an automatic transfer switch, wiring, inverter and batteries at a total system value of $800,000 JMD.
Following the handover ceremony, USAID CARCEP commenced its second 4-day Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installer Training for students from the high school, residents of Petersfield, Paradise Park and surrounding communities.
“We thank our partners for committed service to our young people, all in a bid to ensure that at least the next generation of Jamaicans are able to make sound solar energy decisions” said Dr. Michele Pinnock, Region 4 Director from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information during her opening remarks.
Additionally, the USAID in-kind donation included a supply of 18W LED Tubes to replace the existing fluorescent lightbulbs that will also help to improve the energy-performance of the property. With this system installation and lighting upgrade, 75 teachers and just about 1900 students will benefit from immediate energy savings amounting to approximately $30,000 JMD monthly being reduced off the school’s JPS bill.
Principal Clyde Evans in his acceptance speech was delighted to receive the donation on behalf of the school and thanked USAID for recognizing the importance of such a program and for providing the necessary funding support. “Here at Petersfield High School we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have been selected as a beneficiary
Petersfield High School Principal Clyde Evans (2nd from left) and Dr. Michele Pinnock (centre), Region 4 Director of Min. of Education accept donation from USAID Representatives
Invited guests observing handing over of the solar PV system and LED lightbulbs to Petersfield High School of the generosity of USAID. The school will now be in a position to see continuous savings with
reductions in our monthly JPS bills, “said Evans. “Of importance is the fact that not only have we
received this system, but in addition through partnership with USAID, our representatives along
with others not directly connected to the school are being trained in the installation and use of the
system,” continued Evans.
The introductory training course, which includes a mixture of practical and theoretical knowledge,
will equip participants with the basic understanding and hands-on experience to function safely in a
photovoltaic environment. Participants who are successful at passing the in-course assessments will
ultimately earn an NVQJ/CVQ Level I certification, once ratified by the HEART Trust National Training
Agency (NTA).
HEART NTA is currently assessing the course to ensure it meets the national standards for technical and vocational training and upon approval the course will become the first nationally accredited
photovoltaic installer course. The overall goal of this initiative is to inspire participants to consider a
career in solar energy as the certification will provide them with the required qualifications to work as
entry level PV Installers.
Westmorland will be home to the largest solar park in the Caribbean, a 37 MW project now under
development by Eight Rivers Energy Company and Neoen.

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